Constitutional and mainland affairs minister Erick Tsang on Saturday dismissed concerns that the extended Legislative Council term will be operating without a mandate, as the nation’s top legislature – which made the decision – represents people’s views in itself.
The 2020 Legco election was postponed by at least a year because of a recent surge in local Covid-19 cases, and existing lawmakers will be allowed to stay on in their roles to fill the power vacuum.
Tsang told a radio programme that previously-elected lawmakers had been voted in, in a fair and open manner, and he can't see why they cannot represent the people in the coming year.
He urged all lawmakers to return to work on improving people's livelihood.
Tsang said there are no plans to hold by-elections for vacated seats because it doesn’t make sense to do so while polls have been postponed. He explained that the Covid-19 situation in Hong Kong remains severe, and may worsen in the winter months.
Asked if those barred frp, running in the 2020 election before the postponement could still apply to run next year, Tsang said their applications would be reconsidered as they are not banned from being nominated for life.
He said returning officers will allow candidates to run if they are convinced they will truly uphold the Basic Law and swear allegiance to the SAR.
Tsang added that authorities will be looking into how voting arrangements during emergencies can be improved.
He said some people stranded overseas or on the mainland have complained that they were not able to come back to Hong Kong to vote.